Ahh, the holidays. A time of joy and celebration; of friends, family and togetherness. Though touted as ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ it has also become the most hectic time of the year. In an attempt to not miss a single moment, we take on too much and stretch ourselves too thin. And as we gather round the fire or head out to festive cocktail parties, our good habits and routines tend to get away from us — sending us into a frantic state of oh no come January. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple swaps and a little awareness go a long way this time of year, and we’ve put together a list to make it easier. Here are five ways to keep yourself grounded during this busy holiday season.
1) Watch out for the junk food
Okay, so this one sounds easier said than done — we know. But hear us out. For starters, don’t go to holiday parties and dinners on an empty stomach. Fill up on healthy foods that sustain you before you go, then enjoy little bits of everything without overeating and overindulging. Keep healthy snacks at your desk and around your workspace, so when the holiday cookies show up, you don’t have the urge to grab three. Little moves like these will put you ahead of the game come January — we promise.
2) Ease up on the caffeine
If you’ve followed us for a while then you probably already know how we feel about coffee. We actually wrote specifically about this last week. It’s nothing personal, but the the caffeine in coffee is a surefire way to increase anxiety during an already hectic time of year. Add in some jitters and crashes and you’ve got yourself a pretty poor recipe for the holidays. Instead, opt for matcha, green tea and yerba mate for sustained energy without the caffeinated comedown. You can easily throw in some peppermint for that seasonal flavor, too!
3) Put the phone down
Social media has added a whole new layer of complexity to the holidays in 2018. Everyone is doing everything and we must keep up, right? Wrong. This is a time to be with friends and family; a time to be away from work and to be fully present. Why waste it scrolling through what your friends are doing and buying? This causes us to compare, and as a result, leaves us feeling a little less-than — and isn’t that the opposite of this season? Establish some boundaries for your daily phone usage, i.e., not scrolling first thing in the morning. Try making a pact with your friends at parties and gatherings that says everyone has to put their phones away for the evening. Then watch as everyone becomes a little more talkative and a little more focused. This is what the season is all about.
4) Get out of the house
Yes, we know. The weather can be a little less than satisfactory this time of year, but that’s really just an excuse. Throw on some layers and go for a stroll. Take in the lights and colorful decorations, as you view your hometown in a different and festive light. Go for a jog in the cold and feel your lungs working a little harder — you’ll be surprised how quickly you warm up.
Watching your favorite holiday flicks from the warmth of your bed is not something we frown upon, but we must remember to keep active. Our bodies crave the movement and natural light, especially this time of year.
5) Don’t overextend yourself
This might be the most important rule of the season, so listen up. You do not have to say yes to everything. It’s true! The invites seem to keep coming this time of year, but be selective in what you commit to. Limit the amount of parties you attend — they generally encourage us to eat junk, drink a bit too much and sacrifice sleep, so you don’t need to go to all of them. Overcommitting also increases our overall sense of stress and anxiety, and that’s precisely what we’re trying not to do here. Choose a couple of your favorite events, and enjoy them thoroughly, as opposed to half-assing your way through the holiday’s best moments.